By Njodzeka Danhatu
Some 22 Single mothers, drawn from across Fako Division, Southwest Cameroon, have been trained and financially empowered to venture into businesses that will enable them cope financially.
They were each handed FCFA 30000 to support them start their own small businesses
This was during an event organised by the Etombi Foundation which held from June 24-25 in Limbe, headquarter of Fako Division.
It was a microfinance training workshop with start-up financial assistance for needy and single women in Fako Division.
The women were trained on how to become entrepreneurs, managing a business, hairdressing, pedicure and manicure, petty trading, making and selling food items among others.
The training was a practical one as experts in various business activities especially hairdressing, making and selling of food, physically demonstrated to the women how it is being done.
According to the Country Representative of the Etombi Foundation, Cois Ikome, the workshop was aimed at drilling the women on activities that they will use to generate income for themselves.
“Aside from the training, they had lectures on how to develop an entrepreneurial mindset. They also had tips on how to keep a business” she said.
The Etombi foundation intends to help young women, whom the country representative said are mostly “single mothers. We had six participants who had sight challenges who came from Buea too. Our intention is for these participants to be able to start up something and take care of themselves so that they should become financially independent. There is no reason for anybody to be borrowing or begging.
“The reason for targeting mostly single mothers with children according to Cois Ikome is because, “being a mother is quite challenging especially in COVID-19 times, the Anglophone crisis is a double challenge. We think that when these women are empowered, they will not only be able to take care of themselves, but also their children” she said.
At the end of the training, the women were given certificates and some funds to individually start some small income-generating businesses.
Talking to the press on day one of the event, the chief of centre for social affairs, Limbe I, Adeline Ewo said she was impressed. “The ministry of social affairs has a policy of prioritising partnership. We are very impressed that we have partners who are coming in to add to what this ministry is already doing. They are already in line with our target population. What we can give to them is to encourage them whenever they are out for services like this.” She said.
Some participants who spoke the press said they were overwhelmed with the Etombi foundation for the work it is doing.
According to Queen Eliza, one of the trainees, she had learned so many things from the workshop. “I learned how to operate various businesses like establishing petty trading. Any business that comes to mind, I will be able to manage right now. I have never been to any foundation before. This is the first workshop I am attending. I grabbed a lot which is going to make me step forward and see how to grab opportunities ahead”.
The same appreciation was also echoed by Geraldine Mbongi, a trainee. “I am so delighted to be here today. I came here and learned so many things I have not known before. I am grateful to the Etombi Foundation.” She said.
The Etombi foundation is barely one year old since its creation in 2020. It has as a motto: “reaching out to the needy and underprivileged.”